General, Research, Technology

How do trees burn under the influence of lava? It looks unusual

Every year on Earth there are about 60volcanic eruptions. Some of them take us by surprise, and therefore become the cause of the destruction of many buildings and the death of people. And mankind is already used to the eruptions of others, because some of the volcanoes have been active for a very long time. One of the most active volcanoes in the world is Kilauea, which is located on the territory of the Hawaiian Islands. Its current eruption began about 35 years ago. In 2016, local residents observed its increased activity: hot lava flowed right through the courtyards of settlements and stopped only when it reached the ocean. On the way, hot streams burned numerous trees, but this does not mean at all that the plants have completely disappeared. The trees still stand in their places and some of them continue to grow. And all because volcanic lava cannot just burn wood - this is a more complex and interesting process than it might seem at first glance. Now let's figure out why.

Volcanic lava cannot completely destroy trees. Let's find out why

Volcanic lava properties

Volcanic lava is essentially magma- a molten substance that is located under the solid earth's crust. When a volcano erupts, this hot mixture flows to the surface and is freed from gases. The speed of movement of lava flows can reach several meters per second. The temperature of the liquid substance reaches 1200 degrees Celsius. As you might guess, this hot lava solidifies very slowly, but when this happens, the so-called effusive rocks are formed. Sometimes frozen lava takes on a very unusual shape.

Volcanic lava reaches 1200 degrees Celsius

Why can't lava burn trees?

The grass under the lava instantly burns out, but nowtrees are not. According to the Huffington Post, hot lava cannot completely destroy wood because it retains a lot of moisture in its pores. A minimum of water is contained inside the tree, so the first thing to do is burn out the inside of the trunk. But the outer shell becomes dry only by the time the lava cools down. Ultimately, after exposure to lava, only a hollow shell remains from the trees. Trees burned out by a volcanic eruption are called "lava" trees and sometimes they begin to grow again from the inside. Most likely, these are windblown seeds growing.

Lava tree interior

The harbingers of a volcanic eruption are most often earthquakes. Tremors have recently been recorded in the US state of Utah. Perhaps a volcano will soon erupt there.

The most unusual park with trees

Most of the lava trees are located onHawaii, at the Lava Tree State Monument Park. They were formed back in 1790 as a result of the eruption of the same volcano Kilauea. The tree shells still stand there and this park is considered a local landmark. In the video below, you can see that many other plants are already growing next to the burnt trees. But in general, the park gives the impression of an eerie place with ominous pillars. Only the singing of numerous birds adds brightness.

Video from Lava Tree State Monument Park

Despite the fact that Kilauea volcano is consideredone of the most active, it does not pose any particular danger. In 2016, when lava flows were flowing through the courtyards of local residents, only one person died. And it happened by a terrible accident. It is known that the deceased man was sitting on his balcony, when suddenly a piece of red-hot rock flew into his head. So there are many dangerous volcanoes in the world, and there are quite a few of them. According to statistics, since 1500, more than 280 thousand people have become victims of volcanoes. The worst thing is that 170 thousand of the deaths later occurred in just six eruptions. That is, some volcanoes were so deadly that they led to catastrophic consequences.

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The most powerful volcanic eruption in historyhumanity, of course, was the eruption of Vesuvius. Over the entire period of its existence, it erupted at least 50 times, but the deadliest eruption occurred in 79 AD. Pompeii and several other Roman cities were under the hot streams of lava. As a result of this disaster, about 2,000 people died. Considering that hundreds of years ago, the population of planet Earth was very small, this is a huge figure. The bodies of people and structures remained under a layer of solidified lava and were supposedly mothballed. Thanks to this, archaeologists manage to discover very interesting historical objects. For example, relatively recently they found one of the very first fast foods in history. You can read more about it at this link.

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